FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Bob Colgate
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (February 8, 2018) — Players in high school football who are detected with missing or improperly worn equipment during playing action will be removed from the game for at least one down, unless the improper equipment is directly attributable to a foul by the opponent.
This revision in Rule 1-5-5 and other related rules was one of five rules changes for the 2018 season recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Rules Committee at its January 19-21 meeting in Indianapolis. All changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
Rule 1-5-5 also states that if the player is wearing otherwise legal equipment in an illegal manner, the participant must also be replaced for one down. If proper and legal equipment has become improperly worn through use during the game, and prompt repair does not delay the ready-for-play signal for more than 25 seconds, the repair can be made without replacing the player for one down.
In a related change (1-5-4), the head coach is responsible for verifying that all players are legally equipped and will not use illegal equipment. The penalty provisions for any use of illegal equipment remain unchanged and result in an unsportsmanlike foul charged to the head coach.
“I commend the entire football rules committee for its thoroughness and focus on the state of the game of football,” said Todd Tharp, chair of the NFHS Football Rules Committee and assistant director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association. “The committee recognizes that the state of high school football focuses on risk minimization and the responsibility that coaches, players and game officials play in continuing to protect our student-athletes. By emphasizing that the coach is ultimately responsible for assuring his players are using legal equipment by issuing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for violations and that players will be removed for using legal equipment in an illegal manner, the committee continues to focus on minimizing risk for all players.”
The second rules change approved by the NFHS Football Rules Committee provides another option for teams in Rule 6-1-9 on fouls committed by the kicking team during free kicks and scrimmage kicks. Now, the receiving team can accept a 5-yard penalty from the succeeding spot. The previous three options remain: accept a 5-yard penalty from the previous spot and have the kicking team re-kick, put the ball in play at the inbounds spot 25 yards beyond the previous spot, or decline the penalty and put the ball in play at the inbounds spot.
Bob Colgate, NFHS director of sports and sports medicine and liaison to the NFHS Football Rules Committee, said this additional option was approved by the committee in an effort to reduce re-kicks, further minimize risks and ensure that appropriate penalties are in place for all fouls.
“The ability to ‘tack on’ penalty yardage on free kicks will potentially reduce the amount of repeated free kicks,” Tharp said. “In addition, this rule change is consistent with NFHS rules that no foul should go unpenalized.”
The third change approved by the committee was a revision related to the examples of a defenseless player. In Rule 2-32-16a, the committee clarified that defenseless player provisions do not apply to a passer until a legal forward pass is thrown. The passer continues to be a defenseless player until the pass ends or the passer moves to participate in the play.
The committee also changed the signal for free-kick infractions, other than encroachment of the neutral zone, from Signal 18 to Signal 19.
The final change approved by the NFHS Football Rules Committee concerned six-player football in Rule 3. The timing rule between periods and intermission for six-player football has been standardized to match the current NFHS rules for 8-player, 9-player and 11-player football.
A complete listing of the football rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Football.”
MONTGOMERY — Austin’s Asa Martin was named the 36th recipient of the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Mr. Football Award Tuesday at the ASWA’s annual Player of the Year Awards luncheon, presented by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association. The luncheon was held at the Renaissance Hotel at the Convention Center in Montgomery.
Martin, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior running back, rushed for 2,228 yards this season on 198 carries with 33 touchdowns, while adding two more scores and 399 yards on 20 receptions. The Black Bears went 12-1 on the year before losing 51-50 in the quarterfinals in overtime to eventual state champion Pinson Valley. Martin also rushed for more than 1,300 yards as a sophomore at Austin, but attended school out of state as a junior. Martin graduated in December and is attending Auburn.
Martin, who was also named the ASWA’s Class 6A Back of the Year for 2017, finished with 170 points and 10 first-place votes in ballots cast by the ASWA’s prep committee, while Pinson Valley quarterback junior Bo Nix was second with 144 points. Thompson quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, selected Class 7A Back of the Year, was third with 143. Both Nix and Tagovailoa had one first-place vote, while Central-Phenix City wide receiver Justin Ross — who finished fourth with 111 points — had two firsts. Beaureguard’s La’Damian Webb, the 2016 Mr. Football, and 2017 Class 5A Back of the Year, was seventh with 64 points, behind Park Crossing’s Tank Jenkins (66) and Thompson’s Ahmad Edwards (65). All were named to the ASWA Super 12. Rounding out the Top 12 were offensive lineman Pierce Quick, Hewitt-Trussville; running back Jermaine Brown, St. Luke’s Episcopal; offensive lineman Clay Webb, Oxford; quarterback/defensive back Cardavion Myers, Piedmont; and quarterback J.D. Martin, Wetumpka.
In winning the Mr. Football, Martin becomes the fifth running back to win the award in the last seven years and second player from North Alabama in four years, joining Kerryon Johnson of Madison Academy in 2014. He is the first player from the Decatur area to win the award.
ASWA 2017 Back and Lineman of the Year Recipients
Back of the Year: Taulia Tagovailoa, Thompson, quarterback
Lineman of the Year: Pierce Quick, Hewitt-Trussville, offensive lineman
Back of the Year: Asa Martin, Austin, running back
Lineman of the Year: Marcus Jenkins, Park Crossing, defensive lineman
Back of the Year: La’Damian Webb, Beauregard, running back
Lineman of the Year: Malik Langham, Lee-Huntsville, defensive lineman
Back of the Year: Symon Smith, UMS-Wright, running back
Lineman of the Year: Caleb Storie, Rogers, linebacker
Back of the Year: Cardavion Myers, Piedmont, quarterback/defensive back
Lineman of the Year: Andres Fox, Mobile Christian, defensive lineman
Back of the Year: Jermaine Brown, St. Luke’s Episcopal, running back/quarterback
Lineman of the Year: Baraskious Dowdell, Lanett, defensive lineman
Back of the Year: Shamar Lewis, Sweet Water, running back
Lineman of the Year: Devin March, Houston County, defensive lineman
Back of the Year: Griffin McKenzie, Monroe Academy, quarterback
Lineman of the Year: Trace Ott, Autauga Academy, offensive lineman
HATTIESBURG (MS) – The week of preparation is over for Alabama and Mississippi All-Star football teams as both teams completed their seventh practice of the week Friday morning. The two teams square off Saturday at noon in the 31st Alabama-Mississippi Classic all-star football game at Carlisle Faulkner Field/M/M. Roberts Stadium on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi here.
Raycom Media will televise the game over its network of affiliates in Alabama and Mississippi with most of the stations, including WSFA TV 12 in Montgomery, showing the game over the main channel. Some of the affiliates will show the game over Raycom’s Bounce channel. To check availability, go to www.pathtotheplayoffs.com and click on “Where to Watch” or click on the following link for a story detailing the available at each affiliate: http://www.ahsaa.com/News-Articles/ArticleId/928/31st-alabama-mississippi-all-star-football-game-to-be-televised-on-main-channel-of-7-raycom-affiliates-saturday
MONTGOMERY -- The 31st Alabama-Mississippi All-Star football game, which kicks off at noon Saturday at M.M. Roberts Stadium on the University of Southern Mississippi at Hattiesburg, will be televised live in both states by Raycom Media.
According to Rich Michaelson of Raycom’s Broadview Media, the game can be seen on the main channel of four of the six affiliates carrying the contest in Alabama and on three of the six stations carrying the game in Mississippi/Tennessee. It will be on the Bounce Channel of four of the other Raycom stations. The game will be on the MyNetwork D.2 channel at WTOK TV in Meridian (MS).
MOBILE: Mobile area viewers will find the game on WFNA TV 55 at the following channels: Comcast Cable (channel 235); Cox Cable (channel 1015); U-Verse (channel 1012); Mediacom – Mobile County (channel 804); Mediacom – Baldwin County (channel 817); Dish Network (channel 55); Direct TV (channel 55).
Handling the play-by-play will be Mississippi announcer Russ Robinson and Gary Harris of WVUA TV 23 in Tuscaloosa will be the color commentator. Rachel Richlinski will be the sideline reporter.
Luke Robinson and Corey LaBounty will be in the radio booth for the AHSAA Radio Network’s live broadcast Saturday as well.
ALABAMA-MISSISSIPPI ALL-STAR GAME TV/RADIO INFORMATION
TV INFO: Raycom Media will televise the game beginning at 12 noon Saturday over its statewide network of affiliates either on the station’s main channel (available on cable or satellite) or the D.2 Bounce Channel (available on cable only or antenna TV only). In Mobile, the game will be available on WFNA TV (Bounce Channel).
Raycom will also live-stream the game with links at each affiliate and on You Tube. To find the cable channel in your area, go to www.pathtotheplayoffs.com and click on Where to Watch or go to www.ahsaa.com and click on the nearest location. Raycom affiliates and partner stations include:
Birmingham WBRC TV Fox 6 (Main Channel)
Dothan WDFX TV Fox 34 (Main Channel)
Huntsville WAFF TV NBC 48 (Main Channel)
Mobile WFNA TV 55 D.3 (Bounce Channel)
Montgomery WSFA TV NBC 12 (Main channel)
Columbus WTVM TV ABC 9 (Bounce Channel)
Biloxi WLOX TV ABC/CBS 13 (Bounce Channel)
Hattiesburg WDAM TV NBC 7 (Main Channel)
Jackson WLBT TV NBC 3 (Main Channel)
Meridian WTOK TV ABC 11 (MyNetwork)
Tupelo WTVA TV NBC 9 (Main Channel)
Memphis WMC TV NBC 5 (Bounce Channel)
RADIO INFO: The Alabama Radio Network will carry the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game over its network. Luke Robinson and Corey LaBounty will handle the announcing and Michael Forehand is the producer. The broadcast can be accessed at www.ahsaa.com or at the following link: http://mixlr.com/ahsaaradio/
HATTIESBURG (MS) – Alabama All-Star football team head coach Steve Smith praised the effort of his players after completing their fourth workout in 36 hours Wednesday. Alabama’s 40-man team of current seniors will face Mississippi Saturday at noon in the 31st Alabama-Mississippi All-Star football classic at Carlisle Faulkner Field/M.M. Roberts Stadium on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi.
The Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game series, a partnership between the AHSAA and AHSADCA and the Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC), is making its second appearance in Mississippi after playing the first 28 games in Alabama beginning in 1988. Mississippi won the 2015 game 28-21 at Hattiesburg. Last year’s game, a 25-14 win by Alabama, was played at Cramton Bowl and improved Alabama’s record to 22-8 in the series.
“We had a very good morning practice,” Smith said. “We dragged a little in the afternoon workout, but that is to be expected a little. The players who just finished their season have been fine, but a lot of these guys finished their season much earlier in the playoffs.”
He was very pleased with the work of his eight offensive linemen, especially Robert E. Lee’s Cameron Hill and Spanish Fort’s Grant Betts. “Both of these guys were tackles on their teams and they are also working at center right now for us,” Smith said. “They are showing their versatility.” H-back Clay Stearns of Mountain Brook is the long snapper.
He said Beauregard Coach Rob Carter, who is working with the offensive line this week, has been happy with the players’ eagerness to work at different positions.
“With only eight offensive linemen, they need to be versatile,” Smith said. “They have really stood out this week.”
Smith said quarterbacks James Foster of Sidney Lanier and Jack West of Saraland have shown steady improvement in the first four workouts. “We have a tremendously talented group of receivers, maybe the best I have ever seen in this game,” Smith said. “The quarterbacks and receivers seem to be getting a little better day with their timing.”
He said Paul Bryant’s Seth Williams, Hoover’s Shedrick Jackson, Central-Phenix City’s Justyn Ross and Bob Jones’ Damontrez Brown are all capable big-play receivers. “Nathaniel Watson of Maplesville is also one of the best athletes on the team and Anquaevious Pollard of Lanett is a big, talented player at 6-foot-7,” Smith said. “Our tight end Michael Parker (of Westminster Christian) is also 6-6. This is a good-looking group of guys.
“I think our receivers will make some big plays for us on Saturday. Defensively, our front rotation is also looking good.”
He said the secondary, linebackers and front rotation of linemen are really coming together. Smith said the coaches expect another solid practice Thursday morning at 9, and will then scale back to work more on the mental aspects of the game and special teams in tomorrow’s afternoon practice.
Both squads were scheduled to go to Hattiesburg Country Club Wednesday night for a dinner and program. Temple Baptist Church hosted both teams Tuesday night. While two practices are set for Thursday, Alabama will go through only one workout on Friday morning at 9 a.m., and will participate in a community service project Friday afternoon.
TELEVISION: The 31st annual Alabama-Mississippi Football All-Star Classic will be televised live over Raycom’s network of stations in Alabama and Mississippi. Kickoff is set for noon.
RADIO: The AHSAA Radio Network will live-stream the audio over the internet and will also carry the game live over its network of radio stations across the state.